There is a change happening in the nation’s 11th largest school system … and it’s growing inside the Fairfax County’s Marshall High School’s new cafe-style salad/sandwich/soup bar, The Statesmen Station. Recognized as a collaborative effort between the Fairfax County School Board, the Fairfax County Public School’s (FCPS) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), the volunteer advocacy group Real Food for Kids (RFFK) and Marshall High School.
On September 12, Marshall High School Principal Jay Pearson officially opened The Statesmen Station to an audience including FCPS’s new Superintendent, Karen Garza; David Esquith, Director of Safe and Healthy Students for the Department of Education; Penny McConnell, FNS Director and RFFK President JoAnne Hammermaster.
The RFFK reported on their Facebook page: “Penny McConnell spoke on the challenges a school district faces in providing variety in a menu that must meet USDA guidelines, be affordable and meet the personal, cultural and therapeutic needs of students. She recognized Dr. Janey Thornton, USDA Deputy Undersecretary who was in the audience, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, thanking them with ‘moving nutrition forward.’”
On their Facebook page, “RFFK President JoAnne Hammermaster summed up the event, ‘It has been a complex process to bring this pilot program to Marshall. We have learned so much about what it takes to make this type of endeavor a success, but it comes down to the fact that FNS, the school and the people in FCPS Facilities have been willing to share in the vision of making more fresh food available to our students. There are risks and adjustments with any venture of this scope, but the exciting thing is, we did it! And it’s open! We are looking forward to the Statesmen Station being the model for further installations in the county. I think we are off to an incredibly positive start.’”